A 1968 Star Trek episode, “The Day of the Dove,” is an apt metaphor for one of the perils confronting our nation 22 days into the new administration. The episode aired in November, 1968.
An alien entity traps Klingons and the Federation crew aboard the Enterprise, and incites them to anger and violence. It isolates individuals in different parts of the ship. It implants false memories of past harms to feed the anger. It materializes weapons as tempers build.
After recognizing the danger, Kirk and Spock convince the Klingon commander and their respective crews to lay down their weapons. They laugh, joke, and generally act like they’re having fun. The entity fades and disappears.
As David Brooks observed Friday night on The PBS Newshour, the new administration had ample opportunity to move toward “bringing the nation together,” the stated goal of every other victorious president I can remember. Instead they go out of their way to foment discord
Without explicitly saying he’s mentally ill, in an NPR interview last week, Brooks laid the blame on the president’s psyche: “Donald Trump’s world view is that it’s a dangerous, miserable place, people are out to get him, and he needs to strike them first.”
Brooks expressed the belief that the 45th president is a victim of his own unconscious processes, which are now infecting the whole country. I fear something far more calculated and deliberate. Three weeks in, and the daily outrages continue. The pace is even increasing. I think there is method behind the madness of #45 and his minions.
Those who resist have tweeted about and demonstrated against cabinet picks, travel bans, normalizing lies as “alternate facts,” placing a nihilist neo-nazi on the National Security Council, obsessing over the popular vote and inaugural crowd size. Silencing government agencies, the non-existent Bowling Green Massacre, harping on SNL, #StopPresidentBannon, attacks on judges, silencing Warren in the Senate, lies about murder rates, lies about climate change, lies about coal jobs, lies about jobs coming back from China, prayers for TV ratings. We need a wall but now taxpayers will pick up the $25 billion tab. First there was a travel ban, and now the secret police coming at night to take your neighbors away. Or they follow school busses home to arrest parents who come to pick up their kids, because that of course is where you’ll find the murderers and rapists who pour over our borders – at what, in fact, is the lowest rate in years.
What am I forgetting? Oh yes! If we get distracted by this stomach churning sleight-of-hand, we forget the one thing that really matters: the Russian connection, the Russian connection, the Russian connection, the Russian connection, the Russian connection, the Russian connection.
This matters because it is the most likely means of removing Trump from office, and the survival of our republic depends on removing him from office, and soon. Reluctantly, too slowly, congress and senate are starting to dig. Call or email your elected officials to let them know how important you think this is.
Through the Muslim ban, which plays into the recruiting message of terrorists, and through blaming the courts and the press, the administration appears to be setting us up for a Reichstag fire (if you don’t know what that is, google it). Sooner or later some lone-wolf fool will do something, and the administration which has been feeding what’s left of its base a constant dose of lies, will have their excuse for martial law, for silencing the press, for concentration camps, and all the rest of the trappings of dictatorship.
It’s important not to get sidetracked, not to burn out or burn emotional energy on what we have lost. We need to keep focused on the Russian dossier, the Russian connection, the hacking and what the administration knew!
Just as during the early days of investigating Watergate, the administration will try to divert, condemn, and threaten. They have the power, the police, media access, and so far, a complicit congress, though hopefully that will change.
Still, we have three things this administration will never have: Truth. A sense of humor. And the good of the nation and planet at heart. #Resist.